Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hot, Hot, Endothermic Deity 2

(*In case you have forgotten--I have simplified the definitions of endothermic and exothermic here.)

A while ago, I claimed that God is exothermic.  "Oh, no," you say. "The Title said..."  Well, yes, it did.  It said endothermic, even though I wrote an exothermic blog post.  Why?

Well, is God endothermic?  An endothermic reaction ends with more energy than it began with.  It brings heat into itself, from its surroundings, and leaves a highly potent system.  Many synthesis reactions are endothermic.  It often takes energy to push things together.  Because endothermic reactions have to take on energy, we say they are "energetically unfavorable:" They usually don't happen all by themselves unless they cause some extra special increase in disorder.

God is not endothermic in that way.  He does not need outside intervention to make the magic happen.  The Bible calls him a consuming fire, highly reactive, highly heat-giving, highly "energetically favorable," new every morning.  An exotherm.

Yet God does not lose energy like an exotherm.  He draws into himself.  He consistently becomes more and more potent, never burning out, never running out of anything--not uniqueness, not energy, not perfection--but rather improving always.  Can he improve upon perfection?  In the Bible, yes, for God is "perfect in Holiness."  Perfect in "differentness." When he promises that we will become perfect, because He is perfect, he still promises that he will remain different than us.  He will be ever more perfect than we.  He will always increase in energy and creativity, coming up with new ways to bless us, new mercies.  Hebrews even says that Jesus, the already perfect man, was perfected through his death on the cross, though he had no defects before; he did not need to die on the cross to become somehow worthy.  Yet in both Revelation and Isaiah we see that this death makes Christ all the more worthy of praise--even though he was already infinitely worthy before!  Like an endothermic reaction, His internal energy and his bright glory always ends up higher than it began, and He is more powerful, beautiful, helpful, good, and world-changing each moment. 

So God is the only being consistently improving without sucking something from his environment.  He is a consuming fire--he continually consumes, increases, takes into himself--yet he needs nothing to keep his fire going.  He is the exotherm giving heat to his endothermic, increasing-in-energy self, the only perpetual motion machine.  "From him and to him are all things": from that exothermic superstore flows all our heat, all our energy, physical and spiritual, and to the endothermic improvement he grows.

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